Hope Works (Insights)

Posted May 15, 2008 by Larry Drain of Hopeworks, the Blount County chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance in Maryville, Tennessee.

Mood disorders attack life. They affect who we are as physical beings, social beings, emotional and intellectual beings, as well as spiritual beings. Unchecked and untreated we are at their mercy and life is little more than waiting for the next thing to go wrong. Hope seems a cruel delusion, something for other people and not for us. When they tell us there is reason for hope, we smile and know that they are placing their faith in something that is little more than wishful thinking.

Often we feel bad. We feel out of control. We feel frightened and ashamed of what we do and what we have become. So much seems uncertain. Everything seems hard. Listening to our hearts and feeling like the only thing that is eternal is our pain and hurt we know, even though we wish we were wrong, there is nothing to base any hope on.

Yet even in the darkest of times inklings of hope shine through. Sometimes it does seem like something better is coming. Maybe it is in a better day. Maybe medicine works a little better. Maybe an encounter with someone during the day. Someone has acted to support you. You have acted to support them. You begin to get the feeling maybe, just maybe, you are more than your disorder. There are things to do and be that count. You begin to believe that maybe I can be someone with a mood disorder, instead of someone that a mood disorder has.

You know a lot about hope, a lot more than you give yourself credit for. It is in the sharing of our hopes with others that it becomes more real for ourselves. It is in the practice of being hopeful that it becomes an easier thing, until finally it becomes a self evident thing that it is hard not to see and hard not to have.

Please write and tell me the things that you do to find hope, however little or however big. It is in all of our little things that we find the recipe for the biggest things.

As you write and share with us we will share what you say with others by putting it on this web page. Just think of what a resource that could be. A page people could go to find out about how hope works. You have the ability to impact people’s live more powerfully than you will ever know.

Please send us your stories and insights of hope at hopeworks@live.com. In your hopes others may find the key to theirs. Thanks. We look forward to hearing from you.

The hope list: (as submitted to us)

  1. Remember feelings change. It isn’t always going to feel this bad.
  2. Practice laughing. It gets easier the more your practice.
  3. Learn enough so you can look ahead. It is safer to get on the road when you can see the trucks coming.
  4. Treasure people and they will be a treasure.
  5. Don’t get so wrapped up in what is urgent that you forget what is important.
  6. Don’t take so many things personal.
  7. Think about how you think. Make yourself make sense.
  8. God
  9. It ain’t about you. It ain’t about me. If it is it ain’t about much.
  10. Live for a reason and you will have a reason to live.
  11. The sky is not falling.
  12. If you take care of yourself there will be more of you to take care of other things.
  13. First things first– but make sure you do the first thing.
  14. Sleep.
  15. Wake up
  16. Plan on fun each day.
  17. Care for other people. The more you give the more you have.
  18. Be thankful for what you got. Most folks don’t know what they got.
  19. Remember life is about more than how you feel.
  20. A great tasting life is not always a good life. Bad taste does not always mean things are horrible.
  21. Sometimes the best can come out of the baddest times.
  22. Practice being what you want to become.
  23. Do whatever you need to to make good things more likely to happen.
  24. Whenever you feel so bad you think you are going to die just wait. You probably won’t.
  25. Feeling bad is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Feeling good is not the best thing.
  26. Take care of yourself. Before you can have a good life you must be able to have a good day.
  27. Hope is like a rockslide. Start the little things moving and the big things are swept along with them.
  28. It is a whole lot easier to be hopeful when you are not lonely.
  29. It is a whole lot easier to be hopeful when you are not angry all the time.
  30. When you get used to being hopeful about some things it is a lot easier to be hopeful about other things.
  31. Its okay if things don’t work out. They often don’t. But there is next time.
  32. Know what is worth worrying about. Know what is not.
  33. Don’t forget when it is time to eat.
  34. Just because some things are too good to be true it does not mean that good things are not true.
  35. Take your medication
  36. Be partners with your doctor
  37. Be glad for other people
  38. Remember if you died every time you thought things were so bad you were going to you would have more lives than a cat.
  39. Look for opportunities to sing
  40. Make yourself do what is good for you even when it doesn’t feel so good.
  41. Anticipate good things. Sometimes the smell is as good as the taste.
  42. Run or walk. Get some exercise.
  43. You will convince yourself to do what your friends are doing. Pick them wisely.
  44. Find things worth belonging to that are worth belonging to

How do you keep hope going?


  1. Its good blog for commenting ,and I like to inform you all that I am new to this forum the darkest of times inklings of hope shine through. Sometimes it does seem like something better is coming. Maybe it is in a better day.


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  2. I plan on coming to the meeting tonight! I do have hope, but my faith has been shaken with this illness and how it has made me feel here lately. I does help to do something fun each day! Laughter is the best medicine. Right now I am overwhelmed by just being at home and being out of work and the thought of the walls closing in are real to me right now. I recently had surgery so my instructions were to rest so it’s hard for me to find fun things to do besides watch cartoons and nothing that represents reality.

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